Black-Tailed Jackrabbit

Black-Tailed Jackrabbit
Photographer: Jim Harper

Black-Tailed Jackrabbit Range Map (North America)
Black-Tailed Jackrabbit Range Map
(North America)
Attribution: IUCN, species assessors & spatial data authors

Black-Tailed Jackrabbit

Latin Name Lepus Californicus
Conservation Status Least Concern
Location North America
Colour Buff and Black
Length 47 - 63 cms (18.5 - 24.8 inches)
Tail 5 - 11 cms (2 - 4.3 inches)
Weight 1.3 - 3.1 Kgs (2.9 - 6.8 lbs)
Life Expectancy Up to 7 Yrs (in Captivity)

Main Characteristics

Black-Tailed Jackrabbits have a body length between 47 and 63 cms (18.5 - 24.8 inches), a tail length between 5 and 11 cms (2 - 4.3 inches) and they weigh between 1.3 and 3.1 kgs (2.9 - 6.8 lbs).

They are buff in colour and they have a characteristic black stripe down the centre of their back, a black patch on their rump, and their tail is black on its dorsal surface.


Black-Tailed Jackrabbits inhabit desert scrubland, praries, farmland and dunes in North America.


Black-Tailed Jackrabbits feed on plants, grasses, sagebrush, cacti, twigs, and bark.


Black-Tailed Jackrabbits produce 3 - 4 litters each year. After a gestation period of 41 - 47 days, they will give birth to an average of 3 - 4 leverets, but they can have up to 8 young per litter.

The youngsters are weaned at 2 - 3 weeks and they reach sexual maturity at approximately 8 months old.


Predators of the Black-Tailed Jackrabbit include dogs, cats, coyotes, red foxes, grey foxes, american badgers, mountain lions, bobcats, birds of prey and owls. Rattlesnakes, garter snakes, common raccoons and striped skunks may also prey upon their young.


Subspecies of the Black-Tailed Jackrabbit include:

Alta Mira Jack Rabbit
Lepus californicus altamirae

Lepus californicus asellus

San Diego black-tailed jackrabbit
Lepus californicus bennettii

Lepus californicus californicus

Lepus californicus curti

Western Desert Jackrabbit
Lepus californicus deserticola

Lepus californicus eremicus

Hidalgo Jack Rabbit
Lepus californicus festinus

Lepus californicus insularis

Lepus californicus magdalenae

Lepus californicus martirensis

Lepus californicus melanotis

Lepus californicus merriami

Lepus californicus richardsonii

Lepus californicus sheldoni

Lepus californicus texianus

Lepus californicus wallawalla

Lepus californicus xanti

Interesting Facts

Black-Tailed Jackrabbits are also known as:
Black-Tailed Jack Rabbit
American Desert Hare

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